Wednesday, September 10, 2003

I may offend some by linking to this post The Price of Fatherhood--a Father's Reply to
Ann Crittenden's 'Mothers Manifesto'
but I think that it is applicable to physicians, both mothers and fathers. While (for the most part) physicians are not endangering life or limb on the job, the sacrifices made are substantial:
While in college, we study,study study, all in order to get into medical school. Some of us worked to put ourselves through school.
While in medical school the hours increase, study, anatomy lab, ward clerkships. We have to read, prepare for tests, take call and come home tired.
As a resident, hours increase, post-call come home exhausted. Signifigant other wonders, "Why do you have to read? You're not in school anymore."
As an attending, hours don't change much. Signifigant other wonders when will it get better?
You grow apart from your signifigant other..... maybe you get divorced.
All through this you miss your children growing up, miss ballgames, recitals, plays.
I worked 60 hour, six day weeks ...... I missed my young son so badly that many times, arriving home from work late at night, I would carry him around the house on my shoulder, even though he was asleep.
As I sit in my office and look at the pictures of my children, I sometimes wonder if all this is worth it.
I'm entering one of those "self loathing" periods.
No wonder specialty choice is changing.
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